In India, HIV is still a subject people don’t want to talk about and even, they feel despicable about the person having ‘HIV’. People avoid themselves from getting associated with those having HIV infection and they simply treat them as ‘untouchables’.
As per statistics in 2015, India had 1.96 Lacs new HIV infections. The number of people living with HIV has been gradually increasing across the world and had reached 388 Lacs in the year 2015. At present, India has the third largest HIV positive individuals. Despite this huge number, most of the insurers offer health insurance plans with an exclusion of HIV/AIDS. It is a permanent exclusion and does not get covered through the entire policy term. No insurance company (except Star Health) offers health insurance for HIV patients.
Why Insurers don’t Cover HIV?
HIV (or, human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the immune system of the body. When left untreated, it becomes extremely difficult for one to fight against infection and diseases. Gradually, they start developing certain symptoms and illnesses. This is the last stage of HIV and if don’t get the treatment, it may lead to the death.
Considering the early death risk of HIV positive patients, the insurance companies typically exclude HIV and its related complications from their scope of coverage. People infected with HIV don’t get the health cover. At several times, insurance companies rejected the claims for HIV infected people, even if they contracted the virus after buying the plan, stating the reason of rejection is that HIV is not included under the coverage available.
In October 2013, IRDAI urged health insurance companies to provide health coverage to HIV positive people. Star Health now offers health plans for HIV patients.
Health Insurance for HIV Patients
Star Net Plus
Star Net Plus from Star Health offers coverage for HIV patients. Under this plan, if the insured person is declared as having reached the stage of AIDS (cd4 count falls below 150) and it is diagnosed and certified by a team of doctors appointed by the company, the lump sum amount as specified in the policy schedule is payable.
Only one lump sum amount is payable to the insured, irrespective of the treatments undergone by the insured. After payment of the lump sum amount, the cover is automatically terminated and can’t be renewed.
With this health cover, you can get cover for medical expenses incurred such as room rent, boarding expenses, nursing expenses, pre-hospitalization & post-hospitalization expenses, emergency ambulance charges, as specified under the policy schedule.
Star Unique Health Insurance Policy
Star Unique Health Insurance Policy provides coverage for ailments/diseases and pre-existing conditions. This policy also provides cover for HIV positive persons with a minimum CD4 count of 350 at the time of entry. Non-allopathic treatment is also covered for HIV positive. HIV positive patients are covered for expenses incurred towards the treatment of Cardio-Vascular diseases, Cerebro-Vascular diseases, Cerebro-Vascular accident and Accidental Injuries.
This health plan also provides cover for ailments or diseases that require hospitalization. The pre-existing conditions (as specified) are covered after a continuous coverage of 11 months.
Thanks to day-to-day medical advancements, treatment for HIV infected people has become possible and they can now live a long, healthy and happy life. However, its treatment is quite expensive and individuals need financial support to carry on with the treatment. Affordable health insurance for HIV patients is a boon to them and now, you only need to choose a plan that provides comprehensive coverage against expenses incurred towards HIV treatment.
More insurance companies should come forward to give adequate cover and help them in a fight against this dread disease.